NEWS FROM OUR DIRECTOR


UPDATES FROM PATTY MAYALL:


10/07/18


From: Patty Mayall
Sent: To Group List


Greetings All,


Here are a few updates, and I hope to see you on Oct. 14th (next Sunday)


1.  FREE No Spray Signs Oct.14,  9am--noon, in La Honda ! (photo)
Get your free No Spray signs on Sunday, Oct. 14th, 9 am--noon in downtown La Honda !  We will be outside of the Post Office area or closer to the road--look for our signs and table.  After leaving the Pancake Breakfast (!), come by and collect a sign or 2 or more for posting along your property if you live along Hwy. 84, 1, or 35, (State roadways) as Caltrans could be doing roadside broadcast herbicide spraying this month or in November.  We need as many signs posted as possible which could potentially stop them from spraying (it worked in other communities).  Also, we will be making a short film on this issue, showing the proximity of creeks, water resources, and residences where this Caltrans' toxic spraying occurs and needs to end !  The more No Spray signs, the better !


2.  Response from our new Caltrans District 4 Director Tony Tavares (letter attached)
We finally received a response to our repeated requests for information on Caltrans' current plans for roadside herbicide spraying on these State roadways in our community, yet NO specific answers were given as to when and where the spraying will happen, just their company lines defending the practice as part of their "Integrated Vegetation Management" which includes using RoundUp / Glyphosate based and other toxic chemicals (see the long list on our website of these used over the years).  

Fall is when they have sprayed in past years, and posting No Spray signs is your best defense now and throughout the year.  
 

3.  We need your voices heard NOW on this issue, before spraying begins : please contact District 4 Director Tavares at 510-286-5900 and the Public Info. Officer Jeffrey Weiss at 510-286-5543;  Jeffrey.Weiss@dot.ca.gov 


Urge Caltrans to end this unnecessary toxic threat to our health and to follow the lead of our County which has managed roadside vegetation without broadcast herbicide spraying since 2012.  


Let our Senator Jerry Hill know that we need answers and his help : 650-212-3313.

Our concerns and voices made the difference in 2012 when the SMC Board of Supervisors ended broadcast herbicide spraying on county roads and parks, and we need to be heard by Sen. Hill and Caltrans NOW to protect our health, water sources, and environment !  


With gratitude, 
Patty Mayall
Director, Protect Our Watershed San Mateo County
www.protectourwatershed.org


<----------------> 


POW QUESTIONS TO ACTING DISTRICT 4 DIRECTOR -----> FOLLOWED BY RESPONSE FROM NEW CALTRANS DISTRICT 4 DIRECTOR TONY TAVARES: 


​From: patty mayall
Date: Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 9:53 PM
Subject: SMC Herbicide Spraying
To: James Davis <james.davis@dot.ca.gov>
Cc: "Weiss, Jeffrey A@DOT" <Jeffrey.Weiss@dot.ca.gov>, Joan Dentler
<joan.dentler@sen.ca.gov>, Louis Morrone <louis.morrone@asm.ca.gov>, Don Horsley
<Dhorsley@co.sanmateo.ca.us>, Dave Pine <dpine@smcgov.org>

Greetings Director Davis,

I am writing on behalf of Protect Our Watershed San Mateo County, as the director and founder of our local organization. As our Caltrans District 4 (Acting) Director, please answer these crucial questions and help us to improve communication and to reach an agreement with Caltrans.

1. Is there a time-line for the appointment of the next District 4 Director?

2. How has Caltrans done CEQA (Calif. Environmental Quality Act) for broadcast roadside herbicide spraying for vegetation management ?

3. Will Caltrans respond to our community's repeated requests to end broadcast roadside herbicide spraying on SMC Hwys. 84 and 35 with a written agreement ?

4. Will Caltrans stop using Glyphosate-based herbicides given the serious health risks?

Members of my community and I have worked on this crucial issue since 2006, and in 2012, our San Mateo County (SMC) Board of Supervisors passed the resolution ending broadcast herbicide spraying on all county roads and parks. On our website, you can view the video of this historic decision, along with one of the supervisors mentioning Caltrans, as all of us hoped That Caltrans would follow this lead. This has happened in other areas of California, and we do not understand why it cannot happen here.

Since 2012, we have worked on this issue with Caltrans, and unfortunately, communication has seriously deteriorated. Caltrans' personnel changes and policy misunderstandings have made the situation worse. For clarity and consistency, we have repeatedly requested a written agreement for SMC Hwys. 84 and 35 which are the roads that run through our communities, adjacent to our private water sources and within major watershed areas.

Please work with us to draft a written agreement ending the broadcast roadside herbicide spraying along SMC Highways 84 and 35.

Recently, we consulted with an environmental attorney experienced on this issue who advised asking about Caltrans' CEQA process and to do a Public Records request, if needed. We have the Caltrans records of herbicide spraying on SMC highways 1, 280, 92, 84, and 35 posted on our website, along with the long list of toxic herbicides used over the years. Many of us commend Caltrans for the "Protect Every Drop" campaign


http://www.protecteverydrop.com/

However, it seems inconsistent with the pollution that broadcast spraying toxic chemicals along state highways imposes on watersheds and people's lives.

Below are the last emails with Public Information Officer Jeff Weiss who replaced Gidget Navarro as our contact, and the total emails and phone calls on this issue would fill volumes.

We've collected hundreds of petition signatures, and we continue to wonder why a public agency is not prioritizing the protection of the public's health. Alternatives to using toxic chemicals for weeds exist and are used by many cities, counties, and Caltrans.

I welcome discussing this issue with you and hope to create an agreement that will protect our health and uphold Caltrans' goals to reduce toxic pollution along our state highways.

With gratitude for your time and attention,
Patty Mayall
Director, Protect Our Watershed San Mateo County
www.protectourwatershed.org


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